No death, no closure

Back at the being of pandemic lockdown I was scared to a point of being frozen emotionally and physically. I kept within the guidelines but missed the immediate availability of  some of my friends.

A planned trip to London to see a friend, the first trip since the previous September, was called off less than two weeks before lockdown began. I’d had a really severe cold and my GP said I was probably vulnerable and it wasn’t worth the risk. Given the current information we have about symptoms and the way the illness progresses it is very likely that I had the virus.

Like most people I’ve stumbled through the seven month since the beginning of lockdown in a haze and the government has turned that haze into a mist and now it’s a dense fog. None of us know what we’re doing and are wandering aimlessly physically and mentally.

I hit mental walls regularly, every two weeks or so, and I’m lucky because I can talk to my GP without and appointment. I say lucky but I have fragile mental health because my brand of Bipolar Disorder is a bit of a bastard and likes to drive me to feeling suicidal when it’s a bit bored.

My “life” feels as though it’s succumbing slowly to a kind of death. My social life, which centred around trips to London and other places accompanied by a camera, has stopped. I’ve been out once with a friend since March.

My chaotic eating has descended into the bowels of hell and I’ve started buying takeaways despising myself for doing so.

Unlike death in its finality this death is enduring and there is no conclusion. I fumble around like children playing Blind Mans Bluff and there is no sign of the ending. I am tiring of social media and trying to find some positivity in it but it’s as overwhelmingly negative as the feelings I have about the current state of my life.

I’m a natural optimist. My relentless cheerfulness pisses me off at times let alone anyone else but it’s disappearing. The atmosphere brought about by the virus is nibbling away as a rat does to anything comfy it can find to make a bed. I am ending up a soggy mess in the corner of a cage just like a rats bed.

I am not dead and I have no closure.

Coping, not coping

This week I have been experiencing insomnia in a way that I haven’t for the past decade. I’m waking in the middle of the night after four or five hours of deep sleep. By mid afternoon I’m crying with tiredness yet not having naps because I worry about the effect it will have when I get to bed at night. I’m in bed by 10.00 and awake by 2.00.

I used to love prolonged periods of insomnia. I felt as though I was the only person alive in the world; there was no traffic, no sounds, no trains – just me. The joy of sleeplessness has transformed into a boring chore and I can see from my social media timelines that a lot of people are having the same experience.

This is not any old insomnia, it is driven by the fear and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We all want it to be over – the deniers so it doesn’t dominate their lives and take away their “rights” and the more sensible of us who just want a hug.

My GP thinks I’m coping but we both know that I’m not. My fragile mental health pushes me closer to suicide than is healthy at times and, though I have no suicidal ideation right now, it is never too far away from happening. It lurks round corners waiting just out of sight and then when I’m least expecting it out it pounces; the weirdest and wildest animal you could ever wish not to meet.

None of us are managing particularly well. Those who claim to be are buffered by money, foolishness and/or religion. The vast majority of us are not wealthy or can console themselves with religion though a good many of us are foolish. We are all taking risks despite doing our best to keep safe.

How happy I am to be home by Leonard

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